Calycanthus floridus L.
Eastern Sweetshrub, Carolina Allspice, Sweet Shrub
Calycanthaceae (Strawberry-shrub Family)
USDA Symbol: CAFL22
Eastern sweetshrub or Carolina allspice is a 6-12 ft., deciduous shrub with glossy, aromatic, leathery, dark-green foliage. Its with erect, multiple stems create a rounded outline. Terminal blossoms are solitary and dark red with numerous overlapping, strap-like petals. Flower are often quite fragrant. Leaves become yellow in fall but are usually not showy.
Calycanthus floridus is very resistant to disease and insect problems. It has a prolific suckering habit, adapts to many soils, and grows taller in shaded places.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AL , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MA , MD , MS , NC , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: S.e. PA to s.e. KY, generally s. to FL Panhandle & LA
Native Habitat: Wood openings & edges; stream banks; moist hillsides
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, deep loams.
Conditions Comments: Calycanthus floridus is very resistant to disease and insect problems. It has a prolific suckering habit, adapts to many soils and grows taller in shaded places. Transplanting nursery stock is tricky. Pamper after planting until new growth starts.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed, but watch for slugs on recently germinated plants. Great clonal variation exists in rootability but semi-hardwood cuttings from the right plant will root.
Seed Collection: Collect in fall to early winter.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Calycanthus floridus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calycanthus floridus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calycanthus floridus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-17
Research By: TWC Staff